Very little riding last week ended up with me panicking and asking Emily if she had an opening for a lesson on Friday or Saturday. She squeezed me into a Sat slot so I was glad I was going to at least get some instruction before the CT event on Sunday a.m.
It actually…was not bad. Like kind of scary that it was not bad. I brought the saddle (the one I am still waffling on, does ANYONE know any saddle fitters? I have calls out to three!) and Emily took a look and said why don’t you ride in it? I am like ride in a jump saddle in my dressage lesson….and I look at Emily like she has two heads. She explains that she wanted to see me ride in it and it sat good enough on Remus it would not hurt him. And me being the true sport I am (laughing now) I said okay…I had brought the dressage saddle too but since the jump saddle was on him, I was more than game.
So we adjusted it and I hopped on. Yes it was still as comfy as get out. Seriously, my new leather couch is a hair bit more comfy that this saddle but not by much. Remus was being a bit tense in his jaw which did not bode well for my arms that were sore from personal training at the gym and kickboxing as well so I was like okay it is going to be one of those DAYS. Whatever.
He likes to set his jaw and make me work for this kind of stuff quite often. And doing so he often puts his head too low (see mom I am on the bit albeit way too low that his poll is below where it should be). So it was a work in progress, bumping his trot forward and not using my hands to get him to move forward, and carry himself and then hopefully get on the bit and settle. He was a bit fussy but over all he was okay (for him). Meanwhile, Emily was saying, um..your position is better in this saddle than in the dressage saddle…..cue my shocked expression.
I must admit I felt more secure riding Remus than I have in a LONG LONG time. More to think on that later. Meanwhile we had to canter next. And I was dreading it (quick recap, ask for canter = buck so Michele does not ask for the canter, got it?) so I was kind of stalling. We started circling at a trot and asking for the canter then. I had to get Remus into a good working trot with his bending AND listening AND not having his head up in the air. And before I realized it, we were cantering. WITH no buck. I wasn’t even worrying about it because I felt so secure but then I realized it. We cantered quite a bit both ways and NO buck. AND we even cantered around the ring (not on a circle) and no buck. No breaking, no buck, like a normal horse (albeit a horse that can stick his nose up and pull like no one’s business if he wants to but mostly normal). Hmmm.
So after finishing the lesson up, Emily and I chatted and she mentioned again that I seemed to have more base and security in this saddle so therefore could RIDE Remus then get the work I needed out of him. She mentioned in the last few rides he has improved quite a bit but today was one of the better rides. It may not be the saddle but it definitely helped.
It was a great lesson and even though I thought my arms were going to fall off, it felt very productive. She mentioned that I don’t need two saddles for the eventing levels I show in (So true, I doubt we ever get out of Intro let alone move up to Beginner Novice, and with so many starter trials and combined training events around I don’t need to even aspire to recognized (Thank goodness but how cute would Remus be braided? Not that I am braiding!). So food for thought, buy one GOOD saddle that could do all three phases or try to ride better in my dressage saddle (Which I adore). More to come on all this later as I am going to Dover to meet with a friend and just SIT in some different saddles as well as I have contacted a few saddle fitters to see if we can get someone to bring some saddles out to try AND get them to look at this one my friend is selling (Shout out to her, I told her that I really liked the saddle but wasn’t sure it would work for Remus, she told me to keep it for now to see if I can get a fitter to look at it, what a nice person she is!).
Next up: Combined Training Event at Straight Up. Spoilers: Gorgeous weather and great time was had!!